This is Vegas
2008 seems to be the year of the open world action game. There's Grand Theft Auto IV of course but there's also Saint's Row 2 and Prototype among others. Midway's entry into the genre is This is Vegas and based on our demo of the game at the press event it looks like it will retain some aspects of other open world games while adding some welcome new features.
The game itself has been in development for some time at Surreal Software. They have crafted a fictionalized version of Las Vegas that parodies a lot of what has made Sin City famous while at the same time staying true to the outrageousness of the real Vegas. Your player character is basically a nobody who in the game has to stop an evil businessman from turning Vegas into a family friendly tourist destination (something that the real Vegas tried to do in the 1980s.
The visual style of This is Vegas isn't dark and drab but highly colorful and fun. While the game itself takes place in a fictional version of Las Vegas you should be able to recognize a number of the real hotels that the game has based its own casinos on. Your job is basically to keep the (adult) party alive wherever you go. While there is crime in the game that's not supposed to be your main concern. Your missions are designed to get people jumping and playing.
We got to see three portions of the game' features. One is the hand-to-hand combat which apparently you will have to deal with at some point. The demo showed henchmen and even hotel mascots of the evil businessman going after you outside one of the casinos. Combat in the game lets you strike opponents and build up a meter that when full will allow you to use more powerful combat moves to strike down foes. When they finally go down they drop chips on the ground that you can collect and use as money for purchasing items.
Yet another portion of the game is the gambling segment. Blackjack and poker are just two of the games you will be able to partake in to gain even more money and respect in Vegas. While you can play these games straight, This is Vegas allows the player to “cheat”; that is, use a special command to look at cards in the game. When used they show off marks that indicate the value of each card when covered. However, using this cheating method also increases your suspicion meter. If it gets too high, casino pit bosses will know you are cheating and will throw you out of the game.
The final segment we saw was a demo of getting a party started in the game. You can go to a club with little action and start dancing on the dance floor. Hitting special combo dancing moves will get you points and more importantly get more people to come in and dance. You can also increase the party by being successful at serving drinks, getting rid of party poopers and even spraying girls down for a wet t-shirt contest.
One aspect of the game we didn't get to see was driving through the streets of Vegas in illegal street races. When ask if there might be mini-games that involve your character picking up women (a la Leisure Suit Larry) we were told by dev team members that they could not comment on that aspect.
This is Vegas looks to be a game that is for people who want to have lots of adult fun without a lot of the violence and shooting found in other open world action games. You can beta that Surreal and Midway will reveal more about the game before its fall 2008 release for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.